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Showing posts from June, 2012

No Southwestern Ontario Development Fund ... for now, anyway

The Ontario legislature has adjourned for the summer and the bill that would have created the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) got all the way to third reading debate but no further. [UPDATE: When the MPPs returned early to Queen's Park to prevent a teachers' strike, they also concluded third reading debate on Bill 11 and passed it on August 28.]

Just a few weeks ago, things seemed to be looking pretty good for Bill 11—the Attracting Investment and Creating Jobs Act, 2012 ("Path looks clear for the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund", May 2).

It had made it through committee with the addition of some amendments from the NDP (which they were proud of—London-Fanshawe MPP Teresa Armstrong called it "the first government bill in a generation that has been substantially rewritten in committee"). The governing Liberals and NDP had reached an agreement—or so it seemed—to pass the budget, and that appeared to leave plenty of time for third reading…

Now I know where farm country is ... and see the food processing opportunities

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When I lived in Waterloo, I used to be able to say that when I left my house, if I went right I'd be driving past farm fields in two minutes and if I went left I could be in downtown Waterloo in about three minutes. Having only lived in the Toronto and Boston areas before moving to Waterloo, being close to farms was a new experience—and one I really enjoyed (by the time I moved away, I was also a two-minute drive from Walmart—the neighbourhood was changing).

The western edge of Waterloo may have seemed somewhat rural to a Torontonian's eyes, but now that I've been living and working in the small urban and rural parts of Southwestern Ontario for a while, I finally know what real farm country looks like.

Statistics Canada recently released its 2011 Census of Agriculture, and the numbers bear out what I've experienced. When it comes to farms, Waterloo Region has nothing on most of Southwestern Ontario:


Waterloo falls near the bottom of the list for number of farms, althou…

IRAP Q4 contributions for Digital Extremes, Sumagen, Polyanalytik, Miovision, Communitech, Plantform

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A strong end to the fiscal year for London and area companies for NRC-IRAP contributions ($25K minimum). Disclosed for the quarter ended March 31 (Q4 12) were:

Sumagen Canada Inc. London $1,014,000Digital Extremes Ltd. London $77,000The Sansin Corporation Strathroy $34,140Polyanalytik Inc. London $30,000
The Sumagen funding was the largest disclosed NRC-IRAP contribution in the region for the year. The full list for fiscal 2012—much shorter than what we saw in the previous two years with the additional stimulus funding:

Sumagen Canada Inc. London $1,014,000Cyborg Trading SystemsLondon$115,000Digital Extremes Ltd. London $77,000Quantum5x Systems Inc.London$50,000Bluestreak Equipment Inc.Delhi$49,050The Sansin Corporation Strathroy $34,140Techalliance Of Southwestern Ontario Inc.London$30,000Polyanalytik Inc. London $30,000The Money Broker Inc.Blenheim$28,685Givens Engineering Inc.London$27,285
Some notable Q4 contributions from other areas:

Plantform Corporation Toronto/Guelph $283,357Netw…

Some FedDev fundings from January, February, March

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FedDev has disclosed its contributions for the final quarter of the 2012 fiscal year —covering January, February and March of this year. Here are the top 10 projects for the period by dollars committed:

University Of TorontoToronto$20,000,000Alliance Of Manufacturers And Exporters Of CanadaMississauga$18,900,000York UniversityToronto$15,549,290Western Ontario CFDC Association Inc.Brantford$12,000,000Ontario Brain InstituteToronto$10,971,133Cytec Canada Inc.Niagara Falls$10,000,000Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd.Mississauga$10,000,000Ivaco Rolling Mills (2004) L.P.L'Orignal$10,000,000Eastern Ontario CFDC NetworkPeterborough$8,000,000Royal Conservatory Of MusicToronto$7,500,000
The announcement of the $10 million repayable contribution to Dr. Oetker Canada was made on May 24 in London, but the actual funding was made two months earlier. There's often quite a lag between the funding and the announcement.

I don't think we've heard an announcement about the $12 million given to the We…